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ubuntu vs. sabayon

Currently I'm testing out Sabayon Linux v3.4a for some upcoming video content. As a matter of fact I'm using it right now as I write this. I tried using Ubuntu 7.04 previously but the OS just couldn't do what I wanted it to, hence the reason I'm giving Sabayon a try.

Here's my initial impressions so far:

Looks better than Ubuntu

Sabayon has a fresher look to it and is more OS X like - and that's not a bad thing. For you OS X fans out there, you can configure Sabayon to "act" like OS X by putting application menus on the top of the screen and so on.

For you Windows Vista fans, the default application launcher is very Vista-ish.

In essence, Sabayon takes the best from Vista and OS X and puts it in a linux flavor. Moreover, it works.

No Add/Remove anywhere for apps

One of the best things going for Ubuntu is that installing apps is super-easy and there are tons to choose from. Sabayon unfortunately doesn't have this anywhere (unless it does exist and I haven't found it yet). With Sabayon you are forced to install apps the old-fashioned way and that, in a word, sucks. Linux has GOT to get out of that "go to the command line and type a bunch of technobabble b.s. just to install an app" stuff.

Add/Remove, like it or not, is the easiest way to install/uninstall applications - period. Sabayon needs this and it needs to be easily accessible. Correction: Sabayon does have a utility to add and remove programs called "Portato" (an icon on the default desktop), but it's nowhere near as simplified (and moreover informative and useful) as Ubuntu's way of doing it. That "Emerge" stuff is just confusing. It gets the job done but it's confusing.

Good eye candy

Sabayon comes with Beryl/Compiz/whatever-you-call-it by default and it's got good eye candy to it that both Windows and OS X don't have. The wobbly windows, "cube" effects and whatnot, while completely useless, are fun to use and very futuristic.

You can install the Beryl stuff on Ubuntu but it doesn't work as well as it does in Sabayon.

Dual-monitor setup actually works

I absolutely could NOT get a dual-monitor setup to work in Ubuntu, but in Sabayon I was able to. I even made a video about it. And as a credit to the Sabayon team, I got it to work without having to edit any stupid configuration files whatsoever. It was all GUI all the way - and it worked.

KDE kicks GNOME's ass

Ubuntu uses GNOME by default. Sabayon uses KDE by default. KDE is without a shadow of a doubt better than GNOME (even though Sabayon can use GNOME as well as several other window managers easily). Things in KDE just seem to make more sense compared to GNOME.

Distro is too frickin' big

Sabayon requires a DVD image to install. That sucks - and it takes too frickin' long. Yes, I know there are "mini" versions of Sabayon available - but not for 3.4 at the time of this writing.

While it may be bold to say this, an overly large distro like Sabayon is very un-Linux like. Linux is supposed to be small and fast. Sabayon is fast but not small at all.

. . .

Anyway that's it for now. I'm going to continue using it for a bit, test out things and so on.

From the onset however, this is not a Windows killer, nor is it an OS X killer. Not by a long shot. But in the Linux world, Sabayon is dangerously close to being better than Ubuntu. Should it pass that mark it would give the big commercial OS's a run for the money (especially considering Sabayon costs zero).

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